CHALLENGES IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM FOR WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES
> RAISE THE STAKE TO RE-INVENT THE POLITICAL AGENDA FOR GENDER AND DISABILITY
“Women face multiple forms of discrimination; they are at the intersection of gender and disability, which causes even more disadvantages and discrimination”, stresses Ana Peláez, EDF Executive Member, and EDF Women’s Committee Chair.
Hosted by the Spanish Committee of Representatives of Persons with Disabilities (CERMI)
, the three-day conference is taking place at the Spanish National Organisation of the Blind (ONCE)
Sports and Culture Centre in Madrid. This major international event brings together around 300 disability and gender experts
from the disability movement, the political sphere, civil society and academia, among other fields. The discussions focus on women with disabilities in UN human rights treaties, their sexual and reproductive rights, violence against women and girls with disabilities and mainstreaming gender in the CRPD.
> DISABILITY TOWARDS THE GENDER PERSPECTIVE
The conference was opened by
- Yannis Vardakastanis, EDF President,
- Luis Cayo Pérez Bueno, CERMI President,
- Diane Richler, International Disability Alliance Chairperson,
- Viviane Reding, Vice President of the European Commission,
- Michelle Bachelet, Chief of the Secretariat for the UN CRPD.
In his opening speech, EDF President Yannis Vardakastanis said: “The inclusion of women and girls with disabilities has been a key issue for the disability movement. The UN Convention has brought a new perspective and a new spirit that also as organisations of persons with disabilities we must embrace, by changing our own policies, revising our advocacy agenda and improving the way we work. This conference comes at a timely moment and will certainly inspire our future work.”
Together with the Spanish Committee of Representatives of Persons with Disabilities (CERMI), the Women’s Committee has recently published its 2nd manifesto on the rights of women and girls with disabilities in the European Union. The 2nd manifesto was adopted by the European Disability Forum at its Annual General Assembly in Budapest in May 2011, 14 years after the adoption of the 1st manifesto in 1997.
Based on UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, this manifesto aims to be a key tool for combating discrimination against women and girls with disabilities. It outlines the current situation of girls and women with disabilities in many areas of life, from accessibility to independent living; for every area covered, it sets out their demands and gives recommendations on areas for improvement. Accomplishing these demands and recommendations is the necessary step towards a more inclusive society, where the principle ‘nothing for women with disabilities without women with disabilities’ becomes a reality.